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Cannabis debate must consider social impacts

Cannabis debate must consider social impacts


Research on cannabis law reform must measure social impacts, says ACT Leader David Seymour in response to a Treasury note estimating cannabis law enforcement plus lost tax revenue costs $550 million.

“What Treasury’s brainstorm didn’t estimate was the human costs of prohibition, such as the impact of imprisonment on families or mental health issues caused by prolonged cannabis use," says Mr Seymour.

“Research on such a sensitive issue needs to be based on comprehensive evidence. This means going beyond enforcement and revenue costs. The real impacts of both cannabis use and its prohibition lie in human factors.

“If Treasury are going to calculate financial costs, Bill English should ask them to also quantify the health costs of prolonged cannabis use as well as the social outcomes of having thousands of New Zealanders, particularly Maori, removed from their families and the workforce through imprisonment.”

ENDS

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